Where to Go Wild Swimming in Snowdonia

Lake Bala, Llyn Tegid in Welsh, is a popular spot for watersports and wild swimming
Lake Bala, Llyn Tegid in Welsh, is a popular spot for watersports and wild swimming | © Rob Carter / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Hannah Freeman
3 September 2021

Snowdonia National Park, in North Wales, is a magnet for wild-swimming enthusiasts, and for good reason. The lakes offer a tranquil, safe haven for swimmers, and a superb mountainous backdrop. So, if you’re a wild swimmer seeking some Welsh solace, here’s our guide to the best spots in Snowdonia.

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Llyn Gwynant, Caernarfon

Natural Feature
Map View
Fall Colors around the shore of Lyn Gwynant in Snowdonia National Park, Wales, UK
© Brian Jannsen / Alamy Stock Photo
Simply breathtaking, with easy access and nearby parking, Llyn Gwynant is one of the great lakes of North Wales – swim across to Elephant Rock and jump in the cool waters. Lying on the River Glasyn, this 124-acre (50ha) lake is just 2mi (3km) from Mount Snowdon. It was also used as a location in one of the Lara Croft films, so it has excellent pedigree.

Watkins Path Waterfall, Snowdon

Natural Feature
Map View
Waterfall on Watkins Path Snowdon, Wales, UK
© David Barley / Alamy Stock Photo
Located a little off the Snowdon Watkins Path, this series of pools is a rather well-kept secret. Perfect for wild swimming, this is the ideal place to while away a summer’s day. The Watkins Path is the toughest route of six to the summit, and was named after local politician Sir Edward Watkins and officially opened by then prime minister William Gladstone in 1892.

Bala Lake, Bala

Natural Feature
Map View
Bala lake or Llyn Tegid in Welsh the largest natural body of water in Wales and popular place for watersports and tourism
© David Pimborough / Alamy Stock Photo
Possibly the most famous lake in North Wales, in Welsh it’s called Llyn Tegid (Fair Lake). Fed by the River Dee, and originally much bigger, much of the water was diverted from the lake when British engineer Thomas Telford constructed the Ellesmere Canal over the border in neighbouring England. The lower water level resulted in this pretty lake which is 4mi (6km) long by 0.5mi (0.8km) wide.
These recommendations were updated on September 3, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh. This article is an updated version of a story created by Hannah Freeman

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